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Decolonising Theatre and Performance Studies

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Abstract

What does the demand to ‘decolonise the university’ imply for the discipline of Theatre and Performance Studies? Based on questions and insights derived from the author’s own pedagogical practices and experiences at the University of Amsterdam, the article enquires into the intellectual traditions in the discipline of Theatre Studies that place questions of decolonisation together with a multi-axis, intersectional analysis of race, class, gender, sexuality, and global asymmetries. To what extent is the discipline of Theatre and Performance Studies still imperialist? What are the ways of acknowledging absences and invisibilities? How does embodied knowledge become knowable? The article reflects on how the question of the decolonisation of the university is inseparable from the question of defending the task of the university in social and political struggles, as a sphere of civic engagement. It equally emphasises the significance of theatrical and performative modes of engagement in these struggles. The classroom becomes a crucial site for the exploration of these issues.

Keywords: creative university protests; decolonisation; embodied knowledge; intersectional feminism; theatre and performance studies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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